There’s a book called Puckoon by the wildly erratic comedy writer Spike Milligan. It concerns the travails suffered by a fictional village of the same name, as the boundary commission draws the border between Northern Ireland and the new Republic of Eire in the aftermath of the War of Independence. The border of course goes straight through the middle of the village, so cue all the consequent alarums and excursions one would expect. It’s a gentle humourous book and well worth a read. I liked the way it opened.
It’s a writer just warming up, feeling his way in, cracking his knuckles before really getting into the thick of typing a first novel. The hopeless and totally feckless central character, a certain Dan Milligan, is wandering around near a graveyard I think, when he hears a Crow caw. After a while, the Crow caws again. As Spike expressed it; there was a long pause, followed by a short pause, but so close together were they, it all just seemed to be one long pause.
I’m inescapably reminded of it every time I read some apologist for the cause trying to explain away the almost two decade long pause in what was supposed to be a relentless upward spiral in global temperatures on our merry way to some looming thermogeddon.
At this stage, even Pope Hansen I of the Church of Climatology has grudgingly admitted nothing much is fricking-well happening and given that other ecclesiastical worthies like Archbishop Jones of Norwich and the rarely ecumenical conclave of cardinals at the Met Office have already said pretty much the same, things are looking a bit desperate for the church.
The winds of heresy are blowing across the lands of their faltering empire, the denialist hordes of the latter-day Ottoman Turks are swirling around the base of the once impregnable walls of Crustantinople and most embarrassing of all, the only climatic thing going up appears to be the level of CO2. As a matter of fact, the latter isn’t quite true – global sales of thermal underwear are enjoying something of a revival as well.
I’ve even read a minor prelate of the church arguing that some kind of slight pause was actually foretold by two per cent of their holy oracles of Delphi but given that their machineries of joy have never predicted anything other than hellfire for us unbelievers, I’m inclined to take that with a snort of incense. Woah, that incense is strong stuff; it sort of explains a lot of things.
However, they’ve still got a couple of things artfully concealed inside their cassocks and they’re starting to reveal themselves. When I say reveal, I don’t mean that in the paedophile BBC or Catholic Church sense but the more conventional one, which is to say, show us what they’re holding in their hand, which also you’ll understand is the more prosaic meaning of that phrase. Bugger, you know what I mean. No, I didn’t mean that either. Help me Obi-Wan. Never mind, never mind, let’s just sort of car crash this whole damn paragraph and move on.
The first excuse is exactly the sort of brainless type of manoeuvre we’ve grown to love and expect from them. They want more time. If we agree to believe them just a teensy weensy bit longer, say five, mebbe ten more years or so, perhaps fifteen, it will actually start to get warmer. One year, some year, soon, we’ll actually have a warmish winter followed by a blistering summer. Hosannas will ring down from the heavens and the joy of the faithful will be unconfined. In the meantime, just finger your rosary beads, give the prayer wheel another jolly good spin, chant a mantra or two and keep your faith in the mother church.
They may be sheep, but just how gullible do they think their flock is? That’s a rhetorical question by the way, so there’s no need for you to answer it. Actually, please don’t. It’d probably bring me right down.
Sorry lads but that train left town some time ago. In the meantime, can someone please throw another climate model on the fire – it’s bloody freezing around here. I really shouldn’t have said that. Like Heinrich Heine observed, when they burn climate models, the next thing they’ll burn is IPCC reports. I think I might have got that quote slightly wrong. Meh, well anyway, he was a much better poet than a philosopher.
The second excuse is putting the rumour about that their high priestess Gaia really is a slow starter. It turns out she’s not as sensitive as they led themselves and us to believe and a lot more of that climatic foreplay is called for before she starts to warm up, never mind actually getting into heat. She appears to be positively insensitive to the point of being, dare I say it, almost frigid.
I’m not being cynical here but she is their goddess and you’d think that after all this time getting to know her and them giving us earful after earful about how intimate they were with her, they’d know her funny little ways by now. It almost sounds like the next day boasting of one of those mouthy kids, who never even got to first base with last night’s hot date.
Perhaps now is an opportune moment for a helpful little suggestion from someone outside of such an intense relationship. Please don’t take this in the wrong spirit, holy or otherwise, but maybe it’s time for a visit to your local sex shop. Yes, okay, alright, I know. It’s a bit of a radical idea but calm down for a minute and think about it. By this stage, you’re already well into the all options are shit zone. You’ve got nothing to lose, especially if you’re discreet about it.
So, lose the dog collar, get over your embarrassment and just nip on in when nobody’s looking. They might just have the very item you need to thaw out your ice queen and light her fire. Whips, Polar bear peckers, exotic oils, Maxgentleman, gimp masks, powdered panda claws, chains, snailbat musk, furry handcuffs, perhaps she would like something battery-powered? You never know what could do the trick.
What the hell, at this stage you don’t have many options left in the cupboard.
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